On Thursday, November 1st the faithful around the world celebrate the Solemnity of All Saints. What began in the early fourth century as a feast honoring the martyrs, the Solemnity of All Saints is now a day when we celebrate all ordinary and typical human beings who, through God’s grace, lived holy lives. These lives given to God’s will granted the saints the peace and joy of eternal life in heaven.
Some of the lives of these saints are well known to us and we consider them friends whose intercession aids us as we travel on our earthly journey. We are often inspired by their examples of faith and good works, encouraging us all to give our best in our own lives, devoting every act for the greater glory of God.
A common theme in the lives of the saints is justice. Our Province Chairman for JPIC (Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation), Fr. Michael Lasky, OFM Conv. has shared with us some of these saint from around the world and their contributions to social justice. Take some time as you prepare to celebrate the upcoming Solemnity of All Saints, to familiarize yourself with the lives of some of these Social Justice Saints including: Venerable Teresa Chikaba of Guinea, Blessed Alberto Hurtado of Chile, St. Katharine Drexel of the United States, St. Daudi Okelo and Saint Jildo Irwa of Uganda, Conventual Franciscan – St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe, OFM Conv. of Poland, St. Nimatullah Youssef Kassab Al-Hardini of Lebanon, St. Roque González de Santa Cruz of Paraguay, St. Lorenzo Ruiz of the Philippines, Venerable Pierre Toussaint of Haiti, Blessed Victoria Rasoamanarivo of Madagascar, St.Cristóbal Magallanes Jara of Mexico, St. Juan Grande Román of Spain, St. Josephine Bakhita of Sudan, St. Anthony Peter Dich of Vietnam, St. Pope John XXIII of Italy, St. Pedro de San José Betancur of Guatemala, Blessed Michael Ghèbre of Ethiopia, St. Peter Ou of China, and St. Teresa of Calcutta India.
Several more Social Justice minded saints have Feast Days celebrated in November including:
November 3 – Feast of St. Martin de Porres
St. Martin de Porres is the patron of African Americans, race relations, and healthcare workers. Franciscan Media tells us how, “Father unknown” is the cold legal phrase sometimes used on baptismal records. “Half-breed” or “war souvenir” is the cruel name inflicted by those of “pure” blood. Like many others, Martin might have grown to be a bitter man… to read more click here.
November 13 – Feast Day of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini
Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini is the patroness of immigrants. Mother Cabrini’s community of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus responds to the Gospel call for justice and love in today’s circumstances by focusing on 5 words: Welcome, Support, Educate, Re-Examine, Work. To read more click here.